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  1. #1
    Senior Member DaleW's Avatar
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    How about a modular UQ?

    Y'know, bein' a newbie to hammocks, UQ's look kinda half-baked. The full UQ's make sense to me, but the partial ones look like trouble-- sliding around, air gaps, not quite enough, or too much. $200 and your feet are still cold? What is THAT all about?

    Seems to me that a full UQ body with modular pods, pockets or layers would be cool-- hopefully WARM. I want something that will zip, snap, or Velcro onto my hammock, stay put, and be easlily stowed for travel. All the fiddling with shock cords and mitten hooks and other gizmos is weak. I want to select for a variety of temperature ranges and weather, just like I do with a sleeping bag. C'mon guys, this is the 21st Century!

    IMHO, anybody that manufactures a hammock for use in temperate and colder climates without a fitted and coordinated bottom insulation system is only making half a product. It's like selling a car that no one makes fuel for--- looks nice, but you aren't going anywhere with it.

    {end rant}

  2. #2
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Actually, the "detached" UQ, hammock and top quilts, not to mention hammock socks, do constitute a modular system. You pick your hammock with or without a bugnet depending on the bite count. Pick your tarp, big one if it's the rainy season, small one if it's not. Depending on the temperature, select from your vast quiver of UQ's and TQ's. And if camping in Minnesota wintertime, the hammock sock.

    You go prepared for the conditions at hand without lugging any extra weight that you don't need.

    Now I will admit that when I first discovered hammock forums and hammocks that the idea of "half a quilt" under me seemed, well, half cocked! However, I soon learned to trust in the wisdom of these good folks here and went of half cocked myself. To my surprise, I've never had a problem with the partial underquilt concept and love the fact that it saves weight (and money too as I make my own).

    Of course, there are many that do prefer a full underquilt. But, I think the majority of backpackers are partial to the partial quilts (I just couldn't resist).
    Mike
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  3. #3
    Senior Member griesl's Avatar
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    You make some good points, but I think you're not the first person to think about the UQ riddle the same way. I'd point out that I can select for temp, too, it just requires a little fiddlin' -- pull the UQ up or down to vent or not. Seems like there was a guy who experimented with attaching the quilt to the underside. And I'm just guessing that if it worked, it'd be in production. I think you'd run into compression of the UQ because the hammock material would stretch into it. But, hey, that's why we have this forum - all ideas welcomed!

  4. #4
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaleW View Post
    Y'know, bein' a newbie to hammocks, UQ's look kinda half-baked. The full UQ's make sense to me, but the partial ones look like trouble-- sliding around, air gaps, not quite enough, or too much. $200 and your feet are still cold? What is THAT all about?

    Seems to me that a full UQ body with modular pods, pockets or layers would be cool-- hopefully WARM. I want something that will zip, snap, or Velcro onto my hammock, stay put, and be easlily stowed for travel. All the fiddling with shock cords and mitten hooks and other gizmos is weak. I want to select for a variety of temperature ranges and weather, just like I do with a sleeping bag. C'mon guys, this is the 21st Century!

    IMHO, anybody that manufactures a hammock for use in temperate and colder climates without a fitted and coordinated bottom insulation system is only making half a product. It's like selling a car that no one makes fuel for--- looks nice, but you aren't going anywhere with it.

    {end rant}
    Most of the UQ's out there today be they fractional or full are modular to an extent. Zippers and velcro were tried in the past on other products with only the Speer Snugfit (now discontinued) having much success. The reason that most now use shockcord IS to make it simpler to attach as well as making them adjustable for different desired configurations.

    An example of their flexibility is the shock-cord suspension. Most 3 season UQ's are good down to the 20-30 F range. They reach their limits by being snugly attached with minimal airgaps. Take that same 3 season UQ to 55 F, and it can adjusted by allowing a looser fit or air gaps. If you took away the shock-cord and rigidly attached the UQ, it would be like a 3 season sleeping bag with no zipper (too hot or too cold but rarely just right).

    The shock-cord suspension also allow for hanging a UQ for different hammocks and preferences. On a regular gathered end hammock, one user might like to sleep in the center while others prefer a diagonal lay from the left or right. An adjustable suspension affords one either option without being stuck with just one.

    As far as simple goes, once an UQ has been dialed in to your preference, they normally just takes seconds to install. As far as easily packing goes, disconnecting an UQ and putting it in a stuff sack is about as easy as it gets without having your Sherpa do it for you.

    As far as full versus fractional, that's just a matter of personal choice. Fractionals are smaller, less bulky and lighter while affording a wider variety of angle for you versus your feet. Full UQ's eliminate the need for 2 ounces of pad under our feet and have fewer drafts.


    Compare hooking a couple of mitten hooks to the ends of your hammock to lining up two zippers or two pieces of velcro, and you'll probably find those mitten hooks are much simpler and faster to deal with while possessing fewer points of failure and less weight.

  5. #5
    Senior Member stairguy's Avatar
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    Good post, MAKE YOUR OWN!!!!!!!!!!
    " Wiggs "

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  6. #6
    Senior Member DaleW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stairguy View Post
    Good post, MAKE YOUR OWN....
    Indeed. It seems I have no other choice!

    I've read lots of posts like, "it shifted off to one side at 3AM," or, "I use a pad for my feet," or "I had to fiddle with it to..."

    Doesn't it make sense that if you drop a couple-three hunski on a hammock, it shouldn't be a search for something so primary to the use of the product as keeping warm in temps below 70F?

    Think how well the topside is covered with well integrated insect sceens and tarps.

    The current crop of UQ's may be of excellent quality, but they are tacked on and not what I would call modular design. Imagine getting a nice digital SLR and ordering up a lens that might fit, and it might work in the conditions you have in mind, and it is held on with bungee cords. Please.

    And the idea that you can use a standard 20" hiking pad is laughable. They are uncomfortable and don't give effective coverage.

    Here's what is needed:

    *Take any production hammock and add a mounting system-- zippers, snaps, Velcro-- anything that will hold the UQ in place accurately, firmly, and with a good air seal.

    *There should be provisions for venting if the UQ is too warm.

    *The UQ should be water resistant but breathable.

    *The UQ should be compressible for easy transport.

    *The UQ should take advantage of lightweight fabrics, fillers and ultralight design principles

    *Both down and synthetic fillers should be offered.

    *There should be a selection of UQ's that can work alone or together to cover a range of temperatures: summer, 3-season, 4-season.

    For example, Velcro fastenings would be forgiving for 3rd parties to make accessories, it adjusts easily for fit, and allows stacking layers/modules.

    So we have a Hennessy or a Warbonnet with some Velcro down the sides. A simple fabric cover could be offered with insulation pads to fit inside. A thinner synthetic or down UQ could made to the pattern for warmer weather and basic use. It would be simple to have modules to fit the foot area, or add insulation to one area or another. If you have a partial UQ, other modules could be made to fill in the areas it doesn't cover. And a complete UQ could be offered that will work in tandem with the partial one.

    If you want something more universal, make a universal under cover that will accept a coordinated system of modules. The under cover would just be an adapter.



    But no guessing if it will fit, no lowest-common-denominator fit or make-do fastening system, just a well designed, well made, COORDINATED system of insulation.

    My $1.26

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bradley's Avatar
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    If you DIY'd an under quilt that loft to an inch or so . . .
    and velcro'd it on . . .
    that would work for cool temps . . .
    but then for when it got colder, if you had a second one at an inch or so loft
    and you velcro'd it under the first one . . .

    Then for super sub zero you could have a third UQ to stick on . . .

    now you have it figured for almost any temp.

    You just set me to thinkin'
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  8. #8
    Senior Member DaleW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley View Post
    If you DIY'd an under quilt that loft to an inch or so . . .
    and velcro'd it on . . .
    that would work for cool temps . . .
    but then for when it got colder, if you had a second one at an inch or so loft
    and you velcro'd it under the first one . . .

    Then for super sub zero you could have a third UQ to stick on . . .

    now you have it figured for almost any temp.

    You just set me to thinkin'
    That's the idea. You have to accommodate the extra loft, so maybe the fatter ones would go on the outside.

    Maybe the summer one could have asym insulation-- just a layer of Thinsulate on the diagonal with a thin windproof cover that goes end to end-- a double bottom in reality. Maybe the next stage would be fillers for the empty ends of the summer cover like a Clark. Then a fat center section for colder stuff, and a full cover over that to keep Shug warm at -26F (I would go home). Or just a lofty full cover. Once you have a consistent way to fasten it all, the possibilities are endless. If someone comes up with some new high tech insulation or fabric, it's no problem to retrofit. But it doesn't have to look like the clothesline exploded or weigh 6 tons.

  9. #9
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    @DaleW

    I've read lots of posts like, "it shifted off to one side at 3AM," or, "I use a pad for my feet," or "I had to fiddle with it to..."

    Many people have to adjust the covers while sleeping in a hotel as well.

    Doesn't it make sense that if you drop a couple-three hunski on a hammock, it shouldn't be a search for something so primary to the use of the product as keeping warm in temps below 70F?

    The hammocks without integrated insulation tend to range from 20-200 bucks.



    Think how well the topside is covered with well integrated insect sceens and tarps.

    The tarps normally are not integrated and that still does not provide any insulation, nor does a tent.

    The current crop of UQ's may be of excellent quality, but they are tacked on and not what I would call modular design. Imagine getting a nice digital SLR and ordering up a lens that might fit, and it might work in the conditions you have in mind, and it is held on with bungee cords. Please.

    Imagine having a Canon DSLR and not being able to use a Nikor lense. In essence, a proprietary attachment system would accomplish just that.


    And the idea that you can use a standard 20" hiking pad is laughable. They are uncomfortable and don't give effective coverage.

    Pads go up to 40" wide.

  10. #10
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaleW View Post
    Here's what is needed:

    *Take any production hammock and add a mounting system-- zippers, snaps, Velcro-- anything that will hold the UQ in place accurately, firmly, and with a good air seal.

    *There should be provisions for venting if the UQ is too warm.

    *The UQ should be water resistant but breathable.

    *The UQ should be compressible for easy transport.

    *The UQ should take advantage of lightweight fabrics, fillers and ultralight design principles

    *Both down and synthetic fillers should be offered.

    *There should be a selection of UQ's that can work alone or together to cover a range of temperatures: summer, 3-season, 4-season.

    For example, Velcro fastenings would be forgiving for 3rd parties to make accessories, it adjusts easily for fit, and allows stacking layers/modules.

    So we have a Hennessy or a Warbonnet with some Velcro down the sides. A simple fabric cover could be offered with insulation pads to fit inside. A thinner synthetic or down UQ could made to the pattern for warmer weather and basic use. It would be simple to have modules to fit the foot area, or add insulation to one area or another. If you have a partial UQ, other modules could be made to fill in the areas it doesn't cover. And a complete UQ could be offered that will work in tandem with the partial one.

    If you want something more universal, make a universal under cover that will accept a coordinated system of modules. The under cover would just be an adapter.



    But no guessing if it will fit, no lowest-common-denominator fit or make-do fastening system, just a well designed, well made, COORDINATED system of insulation.

    My $1.26
    As was mentioned in an earlier post, a fixed zipper or velcro attachment results in the compression of the insulation. They also add weight, bulk and points of failure.

    A single option for attaching would also result in only one width of UQ fitting. At present, UQ's range anywhere from 38"- 48" in width affording the users choice in how much coverage they want in relation to how much weight and bulk they are willing to carry.

    As far as the rest (compressible, water resistant, breathable, lightweight, ventable), the current ones already do that. Adding zippers or velcro to both the hammock and the UQ would result in less compressibility and more weight without really offering anything more than can be managed with a shock-cord. The current shock-cord solutions are also stackable ( more than one can be used at a time).

    If you want everything integrated and requiring less thoughtful adjusting,
    you might want to look at the Bear Mountain Bridge hammock or a Clarke.

    The BMB has a 26" sleeve to insert pad(s) and their line of flat quilts will fit without much adjustment. They have quilts for all seasons, and they are stackable.

    The Clarke's have pockets for insulation that can be filled (or not) to achieve more insulation. Albeit with a significant weight penalty.

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